Artist: Sarah McLachlan
Album: Fumbling Toward Ecstasy
Release date: February 5, 1994
Why this song was chosen: This song takes a slightly different perspective than a lot of the songs. And the song isn’t directly about rape or sexual abuse. In the mid 90’s, Sarah McLachlan began receiving letters from an obsessed fan. They were graphic, explicit, and constant. Sarah wrote Possession from his perspective, and knowing that makes it not as appropriate for weddings as many people seem to think it is. “Kiss you so hard I’ll take your breath away. And after, I’d wipe away the tears. Just close your eyes dear.” sounds much different when listening with the appropriate perspective. Many of the lines of this song were apparently pulled directly from letters that her stalker was sending her, to the point that in 1994, he sued her for plagiarism. The case was never carried out as he killed himself later that year. (Source: Wikipedia)
What the artist has to say about the song: In an interview with Addicted To Songwriting, Sarah McLachlan was asked if Possession was written from a male’s point of view. She answered “Yes. I tried to put myself into their shoes, into the mind of someone who is so obsessed with another person that they could conceive murdering them. It took me awhile to justify that one. As a woman, living with that fear in the back of your mind every day with the possibility of being raped. And so, it’s kind of weird for me, but then I save myself in the third verse by saying I’d never really act on it, except in my dreams. And maybe that’s putting me into a false sense of reality, but it did help. Not just that, but writing the whole song, was kind of a cleansing thing for me, because I had two people in particular who just became incredibly intense with the fantasy world that they created, and demanded that that was reality and we had to be together. And they went to great lengths to make this happen. It became frightening, but it ticked me off that I had to look over my shoulder every time I walked out the door. There was one point where I was told I’d have to have a bodyguard. It was like, screw that, I don’t want to live in fear. It makes me so angry.” (Source: Addicted To Songwriting)
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Possible trigger warning. As with all of the content we post, the songs in the Every Day In May campaign should be listened to at your own discretion. Some may make you feel uplifted and others may make you feel angry, disturbed, or disgusted. The songs should also be considered not safe for work.